by John W. Mitchell
, Senior Correspondent | June 14, 2019
From the June 2019 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
Sometimes, the paperwork involved in installing and deinstalling imaging equipment can be just as heavy a lift as the technology itself.
"Things have changed, even getting into a hospital for a job is not as easy as it used to be, with increased security," Russ Knowles, president and CEO of REMETRONIX, told HealthCare Business News. "There's more scrutiny of the regulatory process. Credentialing and safety standards are escalating, equipment has to be calibrated, and there are decommissioning and disposal regulations to follow. And everything is traceable.”
With 30 years in the industry and 2,500 OEM projects a year, Knowles understands the importance of attention to detail — and there are an increasing number of details when it comes to bringing in and taking out hospital equipment.
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To deliver high-quality work, Knowles said his focus is on people, both his staff and all onsite staff, to keep them safe in the performance of their duties. Part of that effort includes a vigorous quality group that performs thorough risk assessments before any job. That can mean an upfront, detailed analysis for up to 50 jobs at once.
Such multitasking is possible because the company has transformed their workflow using a software platform.
“We did 300 jobs in March,” said Knowles. “We can’t do that the old-fashioned way, we need automation on our side. Our workflow has been refined to ensure redundancy in communication, to coordinate logistics such as trucking, cranes, and forklifts, as well as with the foreman and team leaders who need to do execute the project.”
Not that surprises don't crop up, like a high wind that makes it dangerous to put a crane on site. But Knowles stressed that their preplanning is efficient at preventing "showstoppers" from bringing an install or deinstall to a halt.
Last year he said they had no unexpected project delays. He spent nearly $700,000 on training last year on such programs as certified welding certification to enhance their radiotherapy capability.
"OEMs and facilities want an install or deinstall — which we can do back-to-back — that minimizes risk," said Knowles. "They want predictable, safe results."
Even though there is a lot of planning that goes into moving a 20,000-pound piece of equipment, Steve Lewis, owner of Brandon Transfer and Storage, said his clients are always appreciative to see them arrive on site for the big day. Physicians are an especially excited audience.
“After the job is done, the docs are usually shaking our hand and having a piece of pizza with us over lunch. Some of them would get down and operate the jacks if I let them,” he added with a laugh.